John Grochalski: “grape drink and snuff”



grape drink and snuff

once as a kid

i made jackson pollock 
splatters of purple chunks
on the hot pavement

i made getting sick an art

walking home in a daze
under the blistering sun

throwing up
throwing up

the latch key kid of the avant garde 

half a dozen cartons of grape juice
and a bottom lip full of mint-flavored snuff

for lunch

as the neighbor lady asked me if i was all right

and i wanted to tell her
that those free summer camp kids
who thought they had my fat boy number

those prince and princesses
of this tin-shack suburb

could never tell me that i wasn’t solid
that i didn’t live up to my potential

that i was art
as royal as they came

but instead
i spewed up my genius
in violet hues

all over the concrete again.


About the Author: John Grochalski is the author of the poetry collections, The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and The Philosopher’s Ship (Alien Buddha Press, 2018). He is also the author of the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the part that voted for Trump, so may God have mercy on his soul.


More by John Grochalski:

“to abby wherever you are”


Image Credit: “Childs’ rare flowers, vegetables, & fruits” (1902) Public Domain

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